On the relationship between SAS image resolution and target-detection performance

David P. Williams, Alan J. Hunter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


The relationship between synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) image resolution and target-detection performance is quantified. It is first demonstrated how a lower-resolution SAS system can be simulated in a principled manner by band-limiting the image wavenumber spectrum of a full-resolution SAS image. This insight enables a direct comparison of target-detection performance in imagery of different resolutions while all other variables (such as data-collection conditions) remain fixed. The comparison is achieved by degrading a given SAS image to a series of different along-track resolutions and range resolutions, and then applying the same detection algorithm to the resulting set of images. This is repeated on a large scale for a set of real SAS data collected at sea at eight different geographical locations in various environmental conditions; the data considered comprise over 1500 images collectively spanning over 8 square-kilometers of seabed and containing over 2000 mine-like targets. The results quantify the dependence of target-detection performance and false alarm rate on along-track resolution and range resolution. This information can be used to determine the minimum processing requirements needed onboard an autonomous underwater vehicle for effective through-the-sensor survey adaptation, and also to inform SAS system design and procurement decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMTS/IEEE OCEANS 2015 - Genova
Subtitle of host publicationDiscovering Sustainable Ocean Energy for a New World
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781479987368
StatePublished - Sep 17 2015
EventMTS/IEEE OCEANS 2015 - Genova - Genova, Italy
Duration: May 18 2015May 21 2015

Publication series

NameMTS/IEEE OCEANS 2015 - Genova: Discovering Sustainable Ocean Energy for a New World


ConferenceMTS/IEEE OCEANS 2015 - Genova

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Oceanography


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